"If invited, I will go." Micheál Martin on St. Patrick's Day trip to the White House 9 months ago

"If invited, I will go." Micheál Martin on St. Patrick's Day trip to the White House

"If invited, I will go."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that he will travel to Washington to meet new US President Joe Biden if an invitation is extended for the traditional St. Patrick's Day meeting between the leaders of Ireland and the United States.

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Speaking on Morning Ireland on Thursday morning, Martin said that he has not yet been invited to Washington, but that there are ongoing engagements between Irish officials and officials in The White House over the annual visit, which is in doubt due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

Martin said that he would be vaccinated if he is to go, saying: "It's a very important relationship between Ireland and the United States, so in some shape or form we're going to honour it."

Martin said that he has been "amused" by the "debate" surrounding whether or not he will go.

"I think we have to work it out as two administrations, and I'm conscious that we are in Covid times. There are huge challenges on the United States side, in terms of their battle against Covid.

"I'm relaxed about it. I'm confident that we can develop a very strong relationship with the United States. Patrick's Day represents a great opportunity and always has, for Ireland.

"But I think it's important that both administrations work out what's the optimal way of marking the US-Irish relationship this Saint Patrick's Day."

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Earlier in the same interview, Martin said that Level 5 restrictions will remain in place in Ireland until Easter.

Previously, Martin had said that the meetings between Ireland and the US are not just "about a bowl of shamrock", and that there are many reasons why his attendance is important.